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I am using a site-alias with Drush 7.0-dev and I can download modules but I can't update the code. I keep getting the following error:

Command pm-updatecode needs a higher bootstrap level to run - you [error] will need to invoke drush from a more functional Drupal environment to run this command. The drush command 'pm-updatecode' could not be executed. [error] Drush was not able to start (bootstrap) the Drupal database. [error]

However, I am able to use dl to download modules to correct folder. Any advice on this?

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    How are you specifying your Drupal root? By using the 'cd' command to set your working directory inside Drupal, perhaps? How are you setting the site URI? Try adding --uri=mysite.com to the pm-updatecode command, or cd to the folder that contains settings.php. – greg_1_anderson Oct 22 '14 at 14:22
  • Thanks for your prompt reply. My site alias specifies the uri and I did do as you suggested - adding --uri=mysite.com but I still got the same error. What has stumped me is that I'm able to dl modules as well as rsync my local version to the staging site (I have defined site aliases for both). – kristin.e Oct 22 '14 at 15:46
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    Are you on a Mac? There is a common config error that hits a lot of Mac users; I think Drush even prints out the URL to a help page for the issue after the bootstrap failure. Other than that, you might try running with --debug, and see if Drush gives you a better hint about where the bootstrap is failing. – greg_1_anderson Oct 22 '14 at 17:49
  • Yes, I'm on a Mac. I used debug but it just output the same error with the drush status. In the end I updated the staging site core and then rsynced it back to my local server and all is well. I am still not sure why my local version wouldn't accept that command - it must be something to do with MAMP on my mac - I haven't experienced this before though but it is a new machine. Thanks for your help. :) – kristin.e Oct 23 '14 at 11:00

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